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Attorney General Tom Miller holds lead over challenger Brenna Bird in latest Iowa Poll
Also, Liz Mathis doubles down on abortion rights
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau
Oct. 25, 2022 4:35 pm
A Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller leads Republican Brenna Bird by 16 percentage points among likely voters.
According to the poll, 49 percent of likely voters said they would vote for Miller, compared to Bird’s 33 percent support.
Miller has 93 percent of support among Democrats, while Bird has 66 percent among Republicans. Miller pulled a majority of support among independents, with 52 percent to Bird’s 23 percent.
Miller also enjoys broader name recognition, according to the poll. Sixty-four percent of respondents knew enough about him to form an opinion, with 42 percent of respondents viewing him very or mostly favorably. Twenty-three percent of respondents had a mostly or very unfavorable view of him. For Bird, 40 percent of respondents had formed a view of her, and responses were evenly split, with about 20 percent each viewing her favorably and unfavorably.
The poll surveyed 804 Iowans between Oct. 9 and 12 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
Mathis targets Hinson over abortion ban
Democrats are doubling down on abortion rights with two weeks to go until the midterm elections, hoping outrage over the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade will turn the tide in their favor.
The latest ad from Democratic congressional candidate Liz Mathis features Clara, a cervical cancer survivor and mom from Cedar Rapids.
In the ad, Clara shares her story of terminating a pregnancy due to a complication that would have killed her and left her 9-year-old son without a mother. She then calls Iowa Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson’s support of a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions “dangerous” and “terrifying” to think women in her same situation would not be able to get the health care needed to save lives.
Mathis, a state senator from Hiawatha, is running to unseat Hinson, who is seeking re-election to a second term in northeastern Iowa's 2nd Congressional District.
Hinson and Mathis have accused each other of lying about each other’s views on abortion.
Hinson has repeatedly said she supports exceptions to abortion bans for incest, rape and the life of the mother, but co-sponsored a House bill that would define personhood to include fetuses and embryos and effectively ban all abortions nationwide without exception. As written, the Life at Conception Act Hinson signed onto does not include exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when a pregnant woman is at risk.
Hinson has supported such exceptions as a state legislator. More recently, Hinson has endorsed a proposed bill from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that would ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks with some exceptions, including rape, incest and life of the mother.
She introduced legislation to ensure adult women can access Food and Drug Administration-approved birth control pills over the counter at a local pharmacy, but voted against a bill that would have protected access to a broader range of contraceptive options.
Hinson also has introduced legislation to increase access to midwife services, expand access to freestanding birth centers, and increase awareness about stillbirth prevention.
"The only candidate in this race who is extreme on abortion is Liz Mathis — she supports elective abortion through all nine months of pregnancy," Hinson campaign manager Sophie Crowell said in a statement.
Mathis supports the Women’s Health Protection Act, and has said she would work to codify the legal framework that existed under Roe v. Wade, which was overturned in June by the U.S. Supreme Court. The landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision established a woman's right to an abortion before a fetus is viable outside the womb, usually at about 24 to 28 weeks into a pregnancy.
Republicans have claimed the act would allow elective abortions up to and even after birth.
The legislation would protect the right to access abortion services nationwide before fetal viability. The act states abortion after the point of viability would only be permitted when a provider determines the pregnancy risks the patient's life or health.
“I will vote to protect women's reproductive rights, guarantee access to contraception, champion equal pay for women and enact legislation to protect women from domestic violence,” Mathis said in a statement.
Ratings shifting away from Hinson in House race
The nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report on Tuesday shifted its rating of Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District House seat from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican.”
The move comes on the heels of Inside Elections this week changing its forecast in the race in Democrat Liz Mathis’ favor, from “lean Republican” to “tilt Republican” — one move away from being declared a toss-up, according to the non-partisan national politics forecaster.
The newly drawn district consists of 22 counties in Iowa's northeast corner, and includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Dubuque and Mason City.
The ratings shifts follow the release of an October Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll that suggests a Republican advantage has dwindled in Iowa’s 2nd District within the last three months.